Behavior Genetics The study of the relative effects of genes and environmental influences our behavior
Genes The biochemical units of heredity that make up the chromosomes Many genes together make up chromosomes
Environment Every nongenetic influence, from prenatal nutrition to the people and things around us Any influence, other than genetic, on an individual’s behavior Include: –The culture someone is raised in –One’s family –Socioeconomic group
Nature and Nurture Issue Nature side entails the genetic code passed from parent to child. Nurture side involves all environmental influences from prenatal development on. Which parts of human behavior can we attribute to nature and which can be attributed to nurture?
Genetics in Brief Module 3: Nature and Nurture in Psychology
Chromosomes Threadlike structures made up of DNA that contain the genes 46 pairs in each cell 23 received from each parent
Heritability The degree to which traits are inherited The proportion of an individual’s characteristics that can be attributed to genetics (heredity)
Twin Studies Used to determine the heritability of a given trait Data is collected from both identical and fraternal twins on the trait Compare the data between the two groups Important not to conclude that a specific behavior is inherited
Adoption Studies Compare adopted children’s traits with those of their biological parents and their adopted parents Trait similarities with biological parents: attribute the trait to heredity Trait similarities with the adopted parents: attribute the trait to the environment
Video Clips 60 minutes Clip - 8 min Twins Separated at Birth – 8 min
Video Clips VTK – N. v. N. – 5 min. VTK – Designer Babies 7 min VTK – 100 years old – 6 min.
Early Brain Development Early experience is critical in brain development. In later life continued use is necessary to maintain neural connections in the brain.
Peer Influences Peer influence in adolescence is very powerful. Many studies suggest a peer group is correlated with school performance, smoking, and other behaviors.
Culture The shared attitudes, beliefs, norms and behaviors of a group communicated from one generation to the next
Norms Understood rules for accepted and expected behavior Consist of the “proper behavior” within a group
Individualism Giving priority to one’s goals over the goals of the group, Defining one’s identity in terms of personal attributes rather than the group’s identification Tend to see people as separate and independent
Collectivism Giving priority to the goals of one’s group (often the extended family or work group) and defining one’s personal identity accordingly See people as connected to others Individual needs are sacrificed for the good of the group.